The Balance

At KEA, we have talked a great deal about the balance we need to provide in our electric system. We have to be able to provide you, the members, exactly the amount of power you are using all the time. If that gets out of kilter, the lights can go off. This is particularly difficult when one of our major power resources is wind. Wind as you know, is a highly variable resource. So, the power coming out of our wind turbines can be highly variable as well. This makes keeping the system in balance that much more difficult.

Atop a Wind Turbine

On Veteran’s Day, shortly before one in the afternoon, the wind was blowing very hard and we were making full load out of our wind power. Then the wind instantly changed direction in an unusually forceful way. This very rare occurrence caused all of the wind turbines to stop making power, which is by design of the wind turbines for safety purposes. At that point, almost half of our power generation was gone and we were headed to being out of balance in a big way. KEA has spent a significant amount of time designing and implementing a system to try and keep the balance. Well, this tested our system past our original parameters, and we are very happy to report that we were able to stay in balance and all of the lights stayed on. The modifications to Terror Lake went well, so the hydro turbines could respond faster. The flywheel energy storage systems injected power quickly as did the battery energy storage systems. Combined, these gave Terror Lake enough time to catch up and balance the system.

It was great to see all of the pieces work together like they did. It is currently surpassing our expectations. As you. the membership, have supported this plan over the years, we thought it would be good for you to know.

Darron Scott

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